Mobile World Congress


Where new opportunity lies in the mobile operating system space

Roughly half a dozen new mobile operating systems will come to market over the next 6 to 12 months. Many of these look to be more sophisticated than the older ones controlled by Apple and Google. This report will examine the most noteworthy of these new operating systems, Blackberry 10, Firefox, Tizen, and others. It will also document their competitive advantages and disadvantages and gauge what their chances of success — or even true disruption — might be.

Nokia launches Reading app for Lumia in Europe

Nokia is launching its Reading app and e-bookstore for the Lumia Windows Phone in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK. In doing so, the company hopes to bring more local-language e-books to countries where e-readers haven’t yet taken off.

AT&T launching smart home pilot in Atlanta and Dallas

AT&T’s Digital Life program may have started overseas, but this summer AT&T will offer its new connected home service in two U.S. trial markets, Atlanta and Dallas, where it will install home monitoring and automation devices that homeowners can access from a browser, smartphone or tablet.

Mobile World Congress

The Mobile World Congress trade show has become the biggest electronics show on the planet, dwarfing even the Consumer Electronics Show in…

3 demos that truly impressed at Mobile World Congress

With 1400 exhibitors, Mobile World Congress produced a lot of product and technology demos, most of the unmemorable. Three of those demos, though, really got my attention: iOnRoad’s augmented driving app, P2i’s water resistant nano-technology and Nokia’s 41-megapixel PureView camera phone sensor.

T-Mobile LTE phones should offer longer battery life

T-Mobile expects to be the first U.S. carrier to offer 4G phones with integrated LTE radios and antennas. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray made the prediction, which is important because the LTE phones of today drain a device’s battery too quickly for a number of reasons.

Would you please tell your Internet of things to shut up

If we build a world where 50 billion devices are connected, those devices will generate a lot of chatter, and that chatter could get very annoying. By telling us everything about our homes, cars and appliances the Internet of things may wind up telling nothing at all.

Why Windows 8 is Microsoft’s most vital launch in years

Years have gone by since Microsoft launched a version of Windows that made the general public stand up and take notice. On Wednesday, the company will allow tech enthusiasts to start poking around Windows 8, a product that could help Microsoft get its groove back.

Game on! Your next gaming “console” may be mobile

Gaming on desktop PCs and consoles is a big business, but one that generally requires participants to be locked down to a location. In today’s growing mobile world, that’s less than ideal. That’s partly why mobile device chips are gaining capabilities for immersive, multi-player 3-D gaming.

Cisco first out the door with next-gen hotspot

??Last week, the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Broadband Alliance announced significant progress in their shared goal of making your phone connect seamlessly with Wi-Fi networks. Now at Mobile World Congress, Cisco is proffering up the first equipment that supports those Next Generation Hotspot and Hotspot 2.0 standards.

Vodafone lashes out as EU votes to cut roaming charges

European politicians have just voted up proposals to slash roaming charges for mobile users who stray across the continent’s borders. But it’s drawn a violent response from Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao who thinks it could create “hell” for operators.

Nokia’s Elop: The war against Google has just begun

Last year, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop declared war on Google and invited developers, mobile operators and handset makers to join Nokia and Microsofts’ ranks in preparation for the coming smartphone armageddon. At MWC, Elop gave us an update on how Nokia’s war and recruitment efforts are going.

No, BlackBerry, Europe can’t save you

New Research in Motion boss Thorsten Heins says that Europe — where the BlackBerry’s market share remains higher than in the U.S. — can save it from the brink of disaster. But he’s wrong: the reality is that the only thing that can save it is itself.

What’s hot at Mobile World Congress? Services

In Barcelona, telecom vendors, carriers and other companies are showing off devices, boxes and new industry standards. But amid the latest phones is a burgeoning class of services that show that participants understand how the connected world will play out and how they will profit from it.

Windows Phone success recipe gains another ingredient: Skype

Nine months after purchasing Skype for $8.5 billion, Microsoft Windows Phone handsets have a beta version of the audio and video chat service. There are some notable limitations in this first release, but as the software gets refined and integrated, Microsoft’s platform could gain more momentum.

Dropbox: disruptor or flash-in-the-pan?

As Dropbox launches a new photo upload capability to make it easier to move digital photos from smartphones to the cloud, the debate as to whether Dropbox itself is the next big disruptor or just a feature to be acquired or co-opted flares anew.

Nokia unveils new Windows Phone, but keeps Symbian afloat

Nokia kicked off its Mobile World Congress festivities with new Lumia Windows Phone devices, but also made sure to highlight new Symbian devices that appeal to lower-cost smartphone markets. China is now also in the company’s short-term plans.

Broadcom promises dual-core power for budget prices

Broadcom claims that all of that hardware and functionality found in high-end devices smartphones like the the Galaxy Nexus can be had for half of the cost. On Monday at Mobile World Congress it’s unveiling the silicon component of that low-cost equation.

Freescale chip paves way for LTE-Advanced, cheaper data

Freescale Semiconductor has succeeded in cramming an entire cellular base station onto a single chip. That’s not only an impressive feat of miniaturization, it could kick off the next-generation of LTE deployments, lower the costs of building mobile networks and cut the energy required to run them.

Adobe embraces the iPad with Photoshop Touch for iOS

If you’re making software for tablets, you simply have to be on the iPad. Months after releasing a tablet-oriented version of Photoshop for Android, Adobe will follow through on plans to release an iPad version of its famous photo-editing tool at Mobile World Congress.

Intel’s Atom chip debuts in Orange smartphone

Mobile World Congress just became Intel’s mobile coming out party. On Monday Orange will debut the first smartphone powered by Intel’s Atom processor at the show, giving Intel a key foothold in the European market as well as a critical endorsement from a major carrier.

T-Mobile launching HTC One S with Android 4.0

Amid flagging sales, HTC announced its HTC One line of phones at the Mobile World Congress. T-Mobile is a premier launch partner for the HTC One S, which arrives this spring in the U.S. with Android 4.0, Sense 4.0 and a super-fast camera with f/2.0 aperture.

Sprint, MetroPCS were “hours away” from now-dead $8B deal

MetroSprint? MetroPCS came within “hours” of joining forces with Sprint, according to a report, before the deal was killed by Sprint’s board. The $8 billion deal would have seen further consolidation in the wireless industry, but would have been tough sledding.

The devices of MWC: What we know, and suspect

This year’s Mobile World Congress event kicks off this Sunday, and there will be a bevy of wireless developments, news and devices. Without a doubt, everything will be focused on connectivity and mobility, but what specific devices might we see? Here’s what we expect.

SMS 2.0 could make its first appearance at MWC

SMS is getting a facelift at Mobile World Congress. Mavenir Systems is launching a messaging platform that could turn carriers’ staid old SMS into a much more vibrant platform on par with Apple’s iMessage. But most importantly, the technology preserves SMS’s most valuable asset: its ubiquity.

The next generation of Wi-Fi hotspots is coming

The Wi-Fi Alliance will begin certifying devices under its new Passport initiative, which ensures that mobile phones can log into Wi-Fi networks seamlessly. Now it’s the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s turn to take over, integrating those devices and the access points into the mobile operator’s network.

HTC passes over Samsung on MWC buzz meter

Samsung has been reigning supreme in Twitter buzz relating to Mobile World Congress, but one week before the start of the show, HTC has leaped over the handset giant on news of a new “superphone” being unveiled there, according to social media number cruncher

Microsoft ties SkyDrive tightly to Windows 8

Microsoft isn’t taking the cloud storage challenge lying down. The company plans to build tight links between its Windows 8 and its SkyDrive cloud storage, making it easy for users running Windows 8 on tablets, PCs or phones to put their digital stuff on SkyDrive.

New ZTE smartphone completes Nvidia’s silicon loop

Nvidia has landed its first deal to provide both mobile connectivity and app processing for a single handset, revealing that ZTE is sourcing both its Tegra 2 and Icera radio chips for its new Mimosa X Android phone. Nvidia isn’t Qualcomm yet, but it’s getting closer.

Nokia Siemens sets up LTE shop in Silicon Valley

The hub of mobile infrastructure in the U.S. may be in North Dallas, but the allure of Silicon Valley is bringing more telecom vendors to the Bay Area. Nokia Siemens is the latest, announcing the opening of one of its Smart Labs in Mountain View.

When will LTE stop sucking (your battery)?

Your LTE phone is just as adept at eating battery power as it is at eating bandwidth. Last week, I wrote about the many ways that LTE devices are far more power hungry than their 3G predecessors. Now let’s look at what’s being doing about it.

The wireless industry swallows the Wi-Fi pill

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, you would expect LTE to hog the spotlight, but LTE might find itself overshadowed by a less sexy technology: Wi-Fi. As telecom vendors prep their new porfolios for MWC in two weeks, there is a preponderance of Wi-Fi products.

Samsung building buzz ahead of Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress is still three weeks and an ocean away, but Samsung is already threatening to steal the show. Analytics blog Anlytk has compiled Twitter data on the most referenced terms surrounding MWC and found that Samsung is already generating an enormous amount of buzz.

MobileTechRoundup Podcast 232

Join Matt and Kevin for the live podcast as they round up the tablet and phone news from Mobile World Congress, discuss tablet pricing, share more custom ROM experiences on the Galaxy Tab and explain how to turn an Android device into a wireless media center!

MWC: Our Coverage In Links

Our own Ingrid Lunden has spent the past week in Barcelona, covering the massive tech event that is Mobile World Congress. Some highlights b…

Coming Soon: Location in Every Mobile App

We’re still a ways off from our prediction that every mobile app will have location. But we’re seeing more and more of that reality take shape, especially as location-as-a-service providers create the tools necessary for developers to weave location into their mobile apps.

Here Comes Roaming for Electric Cars

Will electric car charging networks have the type of roaming commonly found between cell phone providers? Nokia Siemens Networks and a German utility group called Smartlab are developing an authentication service to enable electric vehicle drivers to “roam” when charging up via various service providers.

Facebook Phones at MWC: HTC ChaCha and Salsa

Amid news of upcoming dedicated Facebook phones, HTC decided to pre-empt such devices by today introducing two new Android 2.3.3 handsets with a dedicated Facebook button. One tap and the phone will automatically share images, media or location, and Facebook is tightly integrated in HTC Sense.

MeeGo Preview Shows Why Nokia Embraced WP7

After Nokia’s much-publicized decision to embrace Windows Phone 7 over MeeGo last week, early previews of MeeGo on a tablet are underscoring why Nokia was probably right to move on. The OS looks buggy, unpolished and far behind competitors in the mobile space.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Addresses Android Gaming Gap

Apple’s iOS currently offers a better mobile gaming platform than Android, but Sony aims to address that with the Xperia Play smartphone: the first Sony PlayStation Certified handset. Running Android 2.3, the phone uses a slide-out set of gaming controls to duplicate the PlayStation portable experience.

The Gigahertz Race Goes Mobile; Here’s Why

When it comes to mobile devices, the gigahertz race is just beginning. Here’s why phones and tablets will need 4 GHz or even 10 GHz processors. The answers range from gesture controls to virtualization, but the computer of the future is mobile, connected and fast.

At MWC App Makers Help You Bypass Pricey Data Plans

The mobile app boom is still largely a smartphone phenomenon, requiring more expensive hardware and often pricier data plans. But we’re now seeing more examples of apps that avoid the need for better hardware and data plans, bringing the love to a wider array of users.

A Mobile Ecosystem Slowly Grows Around Home Energy

The broadband-enabled smart energy home finally started to make some initial headway as the new year ushered in 2011, and if the news trickling out from the massive wireless conference Mobile World Congress this week, is any indicator, this trend will only continue throughout the year.

LG Optimus 3D Smartphone Packs Dual Rear Camera

LG is betting big on mobile 3-D: first, the G-Slate with dual cameras and now the Optimus 3D smartphone with a dual lens camera for recording 3-D. No glasses are needed to view content, which can be piped to a 3-D television or YouTube’s 3-D channel.

Mobile World Congress: 5 Trends to Watch

Next week, the mobile-obsessed hordes will descend on Barcelona for the hottest tech show on Earth: the Mobile World Congress. For those who are staying behind and are worried about being overwhelmed, here are the five themes worth paying attention to during the show.

Maybe MeeGo Should Change Its Name To MeeGone

It’s raining Nokia (NYSE: NOK) at the moment. The N9, one of the company’s newest devices — and the first to run on the new MeeGo operating…

Yahoo Will ‘Personalize’ Mobile Content

What’s Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) strategy for mobile content? It apparently revolves around “personalization,” according to two reports today in th…

Nokia Cancels AT&T X7 Launch In The U.S.

It looks like another fumble for the Finnish handset maker. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has reportedly cancelled a deal to launch its latest smartphon…